Sign

A sign is a representation of an object that implies a connection between itself and its object. A natural sign bears a causal relation to its object—for instance, thunder is a sign of storm. A conventional sign signifies by agreement, as a full stop signifies the end of a sentence. (This is in contrast to a symbol which stands for another thing, as a flag may be a symbol of a nation).

The way a sign signifies is called semiosis which is a topic of semiotics and philosophy of language.

How a sign is perceived depends upon what is intended or expressed in the semiotic relationship of:

  • Signification
  • Significance (i.e. meaning)
  • Importance

Thus, for example, people may speak of the significance of events, the signification of characters, the meaning of sentences, or the import of a communication. Different ways of relating signs to their objects are called modes of signification.

Uses of conventional signs are varied. Usually the goal is to elicit a response or simply inform. That can be achieved by marking something, displaying a message (i.e. a notice), drawing attention or presenting evidence of an underlying cause (for instance, medical symptoms signify a disease), performing a bodily gesture, etc.

Read more about Sign:  Nature, Types

Famous quotes containing the word sign:

    Olivia Dandridge: You don’t have to say it, Captain. I know all this is because of me. Because I wanted to see the West. Because I wasn’t, I wasn’t army enough to stay the winter.
    Capt. Brittles: You’re not quite army yet miss, or you’d know never to apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.
    Frank S. Nugent (1908–1965)

    Many men are deeply moved by the mere semblance of suffering in a woman; they take the look of pain for a sign of constancy or of love.
    Honoré De Balzac (1799–1850)

    An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
    Bible: New Testament, Matthew 12:39.